As we were developing the program, we had to keep in mind how we were going to communicate this new concept with inmates, offenders in the community, staff, department leadership, stakeholders, and the public at large. Developing a communication plan for both prior to implementation, during the beginning stages of the program, and then again as the program has matured. Here are some basics that we developed early on as a guide. Our complete communication plan outline is attached.
- Who do we need to communicate with?
- What information do we need to communicate?
- What do we want the audience to know, think, feel, or do as a result of the communication?
- What is the best media for the communication?
- What is the best timing for the communication?
- How will we receive feedback?
- What will we do with any feedback we received?
- How will we know if additional communication is needed?
We developed brochures for the initial discussions with both inmates in the prison system and with our offenders on community supervision to talk about the program and gain some initial interest. These brochures presented basic information about what the program is, what the requirements of participation, what are the benefits of participating, and who to contact.
We presented information about our program at several state and national conferences. We have attached some of those presentations so you can see how the program evolved and as a way to share additional program information.
Having an individual on your oversight committee who can manage your communication plan is an important element for successful implementation.